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    2011 running goals

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    I’ve been thinking about next year’s races since approximately a few hours after my last race.  There’s something so magical about the blank slate that is a new racing season.  This, I think, this is the year that I will run faster, train harder and refuse second glasses of wine.  I will keep up the weight training, fit in yoga more regularly and stretch after every run.  What’s the probability of all this actually happening?  Estimates range from “it’s possible” to “who are you kidding?”.  But I am going to set myself a few racing goals.  And what’s more, I am hereby making them public and therefore creating accountability for myself.

    1. I will try to break 25 minutes for the 5km.  Yes, I know that this considerably faster than my current record of 30:04.  However, I was inspired recently by reading a post over at No Meat Athlete about the idea of setting impossible  goals.  In my own life, I’ve noticed that there’s really nothing like having the fear of God put in you to get your butt moving on a project.  And 25 minutes sounds pretty freaking terrifying right now. 
    2. I will try to break 60 minutes for the 10km. 
    3. I am going to run three times a week every week, barring unforeseen injury or illness.  My plan is to do three quality runs: one set of intervals, one tempo run and one long run.  At this point, I haven’t done intervals since September.  I’m worried the first session back might kill me.
    4. I am going to stretch after every run.  I know stretching is a controversial topic in running but a physiotherapist told me last year that this would likely help my lower back pain.  My flexibility is so poor that it makes even the most non-judgmental yoga teacher wince.
    5. I am going to cut back on dietary indiscretions (e.g., sweets, booze).  I’d give you specific numbers here but the shame is just paralyzing (suffice it to say, they’re not pretty).  I figure that weight loss is one way that I can improve my race times without actually doing more running (added bonus: my pants will fit again). 

    There you have it: my running goals for 2011.  You may have noticed that I am not planning on doing a half-marathon or longer distance.  I found myself getting really sick of the weekend long runs this summer so I decided to take a season off longer distances to focus on getting faster.  With regards to the marathon, I recently made a deal with myself.  I have decided that I will register and start training for a full marathon when I break two hours in the half or turn 30, whichever comes first.

    Share your 2011 goals in the comments.  Together, we can rediscover our collective motivation (hopefully).

    P.S. I keep forgetting to mention this but I am now on Twittter.  Follow me @Shufflersunite .

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    Dana’s first attempts at running started at age 15, prompted by the desire to impress a boy. “Thankfully, the boy in question appreciated her other charms and running was quickly abandoned,” she says of her younger self. The habit finally stuck about two years ago, however, and she has since co-founded a two-person running team called “The Fighting Mongooses.” Dana offers great advice in her blogs, such as to think twice about the Toronto Zoo 10k. “A strong whiff of elephant dung is not the reward you’re looking for when you’ve just crested yet another f-ing hill in the freezing cold,” she advises. She also entertains with stories of, um, interesting people she met during races. “There was that guy in the short robe two years ago who invited us back to his house for pancakes after the race…we decided to keep running.” Funny and smart is a winning combo in our books!

    3 COMMENTS

    1. These are awesome goals! And totally doable. Specific goals are the key to success, or so I hear, so if you know you want to break 25 for the 10k, you can…even if it seems far away right now 🙂 I am a little crazy when it comes to making resolutions – I make dozens! – but I’ll share my top 3:
      1. Run a 4 hour marathon. I have two scheduled for 2011, so two chances! 🙂
      2. Do my first sprint triathlon (it’s in June! 700 metres seems soooo long right now, so my interim goal is to become a better swimmer).
      3. Eat more protein! I’m a veggie, and it can be hard for me to get enough in. But I have added protein bars and powder to my diet, and I think I can accomplish this goal if I have some form of protein with every meal.

      Thanks for sharing, and good luck!!

    2. Great goals! And best wishes with all of them.

      Back in September I resolved to run more often and signed up for the Ottawa Half Marathon as soon as I could to stick to that running goal. So far so good.

    3. @ Carrie. I totally recommend the two-bites-at-the-apple approach. I signed up for two halfs this fall: DNF’ed the first and PR’ed the second. Also, excellent cross-training with the swimming.

      @ Kathleen: Good luck!

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